The Daily Agenda for Saturday, May 26

Jim Burroway

May 26th, 2012

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Alkmaar, Netherlands; Bradford, UK; Cambridge/Kitchener/Waterloo ON; Dresden, Germany; Durban, South Africa; Düsseldorf, Germany; Eskilstuna, Sweden; Hanover, Germany; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Melbourne, FL; Moscow, Russia; Pensacola, FL; Salerno, Italy; and Washington, DC (Black Pride).

Other Events This Weekend: Bearpawcalypse, Chicago, IL; International Mr. Leather, Chicago, IL; Great Plains Rodeo, Oklahoma City, OK and Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, Toronto, ON.

World Congress of Families: Madrid, Spain. The Rockford, Illinois-based Howard Center will continues its sixth World Congress of Families for the second day today in Madrid. Today’s speakers include Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who trades on her family ties to campaign against LGBT rights. Her topic is “Culture of live vs. culture of death: the greatest civil rights issue of today.” The conference will also hear from:

  • American ex-gay therapist Richard Cohen, who will present a discussion titled, “Solutions to homosexual behavior.” Cohen, of course, is the cuddle-your-client-until-he’s-straight therapist who has been banned for life from the American Counseling Association for ethical violations. He recently tried to cloak his ex-gay ministry as a fake gay-affirming support group.
  • Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater, who is on record as opposing the removal of the death penalty for homosexuality — a position that I have heard Slater defend in person as well as in her book. Incredibly, she will be a part of a panel discussion which asks, “Can we have Democracy and Human Rights without God?”
  • Alliance Defense Fund’s Alan Sears will speak on “The homosexual lobby.”
  • Alliance Defense Fund’s Peiro A. Tozzi, on “Sexual orientation in International Law.”
  • Alliance Defense Fund’s Benjamin Bull will be part of a panel discussion on “Hate Speech Laws and Anti-Discrimination to marginalize believers.”
  • National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown will be part of a panel discussion on “How to make an impact during elections.”
  • Americans for Truth’s Peter LaBarbera (head of an SPLC-certified hate group) will be part of a panel discussion on “Fighting for freedom to educate.”
  • United Families International’s Marcia Barlow (with another SPLC-certified hate group) will speak at an alternate youth program titled, “The future of the pro-life movement: Will the next generation be pro-family?”

Massachusetts Buggery Law: 1697. After the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies were united into the new Massachusetts Colony, a revision to the old Massachusetts Bay Law of 1672 revised its old sodomy law. The death penalty remains, but now “Buggery” is defined to include bestiality as well as sodomy:

For avoiding of the detestable and abominable Sin of Buggery with Mankind or Beast, which is contrary to the very Light of Nature; Be it Enacted and Declared … That the same Offence be adjudged Felony … And that every Man, being duly convicted of lying with Mankind, as he lieth with a Woman; and every Man or Woman that shall have carnal Copulation with any Beast or Brute Creature, the Offender and Offenders, in either of the Cases before mentioned, shall suffer the Pains of Death, and the Beast shall be slain and Burned.

Massachusetts abolished the death penalty for sodomy and bestiality in 1805.

First Intersex Actress On Film: 1976. She made her debut on the screen in the 1976 movie Drive-In. Set in small town Texas, the story portrays a slice of life as the town’s teens gather at the local drive-in to watch a disaster flick. The film’s movie-within-a-movie (the movie being screened at the drive-in) is a hilarious sendup of action movies. Among the cast is Katherine Connella (billed as Neely Richlond) who plays a student and is the first intersexed person to star in a motion picture. Katherine’s biography, released in 2001, describes her experience of being born and growing up a combination of genders.

Maryland Adds Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Hate Crime Law: 2005. Five days after vetoing a bill that would provide domestic partnership for same sex couples, Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich (R) signed a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s hate crime law. Conservative religious groups naturally protest.

Sakia Gunn: 1987. If she were alive today, she’d be celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday. Instead, she didn’t quite make it to sweet sixteen. On May 11, 2003, she and her friends were waiting for the #1 New Jersey Transit bus in downtown Newark when they were propositioned by two men. The girls rejected their advances by declaring themselves to be lesbians. The men attacked, and when Gunn fought back, one of the attackers stabbed her in the chest. After both attackers fled, Gunn was rushed to the hospital where she died. The murder became the subject of several protests in Newark, and more than 2,500 people attended her funeral.

One of the attackers, Robert McCullough, was arrested and charged with murder. In a tale that could have come from a bad comedy sketch, McCullough claimed that Gunn died after she ran into his knife. He eventually agreed to a plea bargain in which the murder charges were dropped in exchange for a guilty plea for manslaughter, aggravated assault and bias intimidation. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?


May 26th, 2012

What I want to know is how did we let that American Anti Gay Hate Group get away from us? We as a community should have contacted LGBT groups in Spain to protest them. Our community really dropped the ball on this one. These Haters should never go anywhere in the world that they are not being protested.

I guess we have so much going on in our own country that there is only so many pies we can have our fingers in. I know that I am always going to be monitoring this group and start working early on getting protests going for when they arrive.

This really bothers me that they can fly into Madrid and export American Anti Gay Hate with no opposition. I worked yesterday on gay forums and on Twitter to contact LGBT people in Madrid. I didn’t get any results, which is a pity, a real shame. BUT live and learn, we won’t let this happen again. They won’t ever have it this easy again.

Susan Jordan

May 29th, 2012

I believe her name was Saskia. In any case it’s worth noting that her murder got something like 22 mentions in the media at the time, while Matthew Shepard’s murder got 524 immediate mentions. So this also tells us something about racism in our society, and who is more important — a white middle class male or a black female.

Jim Burroway

May 29th, 2012

I’ve verified, her name was Sakia in news reports

Timothy Kincaid

May 29th, 2012

And while that comparison may tell YOU something about racism in our society, the two situations are not identical.

Being stabbed is not exactly the same news story as being beaten and left tied to a fence in the snow. “Rushed to the hospital” doesn’t exactly catch readers like “when I saw him there I thought he was a scarecrow”. It wasn’t racism or sexism that explains the disparity in the number of media mention, it was the nature of the two incidents.

Racism and sexism are a problem in our society. Don’t diminish that reality by finding them where there is no evidence that they are present – it causes skepticism when real instances arise.


May 29th, 2012

Wow, Timothy, way to win friends and influence people. Couldn’t just let it go, or maybe look at someone else’s (other than a Christian’s) point of view. Comparing the value of one murder to another is dehumanizing at it’s worst.


May 30th, 2012

So sorry that Peter LaBarbera was overseas and thus unable to attend this year’s International Mr. Leather event. His annual fevered recaps of things seen in the Leather Market make it clear how important this event is to his fundraising efforts. Well, there is still the Chicago Pride Parade and NorthHalsted Market Days coming up this summer for him to use milk donations from his loyal but dwindling group of followers.


May 31st, 2012

Palmer, welcome to Box Turtle Bulletin. Jim Burroway does an excellent job, but it’s a mystery why he allows someone on his site to undermine that work with constantly baffling, apparently intentionally contrary and bizarrely under-thought beliefs and statements, combined with a thoroughly unpleasant and often childish persona. Even weirder is that these beliefs are always presented with the highest authority, which suggests the author actually believes he’s some sort of great thinker, when nothing could possibly be further from the truth. With cutting his staff by one, the quality of BTB would immediately improve.

Timothy Kincaid

May 31st, 2012


BTB doesn’t have staff.

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